Foteini Christofilopoulou © Rosetta Life, Wishing Well, Rehearsals at St Joseph's Hospice Hackney, Commissioned by Accelerate

Evidence and Impact

Demonstrating the impact of Creative Health solutions to challenging and complex issues; using and contributing to the growing evidence base.

Impact on individuals, on the community and on the system

By their very nature wicked issues are challenging to address and complex to evaluate. 

Creative Health can provide solutions, but we must be able to demonstrate the impact on people’s lives and for systems.

A culture of honest and open learning about what is and isn’t working is essential for the development of new solutions. Quantifiable data that demonstrate health outcomes, value for money and social return on investment are key drivers in understanding impact for the system, but not the only form of evidence.

The sharing of participants’ stories through qualitative or creative methods can bring Creative Health work alive and provide a rich picture of how impact has permeated into their general health and well-being.  Lifting those stories off the page through films or artwork can be more impactful in championing the value of Creative Health.

Foster a culture of purposeful data collection to inform delivery and demonstrate impact.

Use learning from programmes to move from ‘proving’ the effectiveness of Creative Health interventions to ‘improving’ Creative Health practice.

Co-produce evaluation measures within the Creative Health partnership to identify what is valuable to capture and for whom.

Work with Creative Health participants to develop accessible, enjoyable and rewarding evaluation activities to better engage participants and improve response rates.

Offer personalised qualitative measures to participants. Listen to stories about the impact on the community and the system, as well as to participants.

Using and contributing to the evidence base

It is not necessary for a single system, place or neighbourhood to ‘prove’ that Creative Health solutions ‘work’.  There is now a vast and increasing body of evidence supporting the use of arts and creativity to improve health outcomes on which leaders can draw from and build on when designing local Creative Health solutions appropriate for their own areas.

Contributing local learning to that evidence base through publishing creative outcomes, papers and evaluation reports encourages knowledge exchange and discussion on improving Creative Health solutions both locally and nationally

Seek out existing national evidence on Creative Health approaches when looking to seed local practice.

Work with Creative Health providers to collect evidence of practice through consent based creative outcomes, such as poetry, writing, films, podcasts and artworks that can be published.

Support access to regional and national evidence to inform a high quality evidence based approach to Creative Health practice in your own region.

Disseminate evaluation outputs and learning to inform future programme iterations or wider spread of the approach, contributing to and strengthening the Creative Health evidence-base.

Illustrative Examples

Impact on individuals, on the community and on the system

Example of: Co-producing evaluation measures with partners

Calderdale Creativity and Health Dashboard

West Yorkshire

Impact on individuals, on the community and on the system

Example of: Using learning to improve practice

Culture Box


Using and contributing to the evidence base

Example of: Disseminating evaluation outputs and learning to inform future iterations or wider spread of the approach

The HARP Approach